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Head track coach Steve Dolan was named Mid-Atlantic Region Women's Coach of the Year for the 2023-2024 indoor track and field season (Courtesy of Penn Athletics).

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Athletics

On March 15, 2024, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the winners of its 2024 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Regional coaching awards, which are separated by region. Penn coaches dominated the Mid-Atlantic region, winning three of the four awards that they were eligible for.   

Coach Joe Klim won the Mid-Atlantic Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year. Klim is in his 12th year as assistant director of track & field, and he also coaches vertical jumps and multi events. Klim has led three Penn athletes to top-15 national rankings, with two of his pole vaulters receiving  regional recognition. Senior vaulter Scott Toney is an Ivy Champion, having placed first in the 2024 Ivy Heptagonals, with junior vaulter James Rhoades placing second. The two are rated first and second, respectively, in the Mid-Atlantic Region and are first team All-Americans.   

In addition to his stellar pole vaulters, Klim also coaches Penn’s top high jumper: sophomore Kampton Kam, who is an NCAA qualifier and ranked No. 1 in the region. Throughout his tenure at Penn, Klim’s athletes have broken countless program records, attained multiple All-America titles, and made a combined 18 NCAA appearances.    

Coach Chené Townsend was named the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year. She previously received this honor for the 2023 outdoor season. Townsend is in her fourth year as the Rogers Family Associate Head Women’s Track & Field Coach, with a focus in hurdles and sprints. Her athletes have broken six school records this year. Three of these were also Ivy League records: senior Isabella Whittaker, who ran the 400m in 51.69; sophomore Moforehan Abinusawa, who ran the 60m dash in 7.25; and the 4x400 relay team with a time of 3:29:86.   

Townsend led the women’s track and field team to their seventh Ivy Heptagonals first place title where they won four events: 60m hurdles, 400m, 60m sprint, and 200m. Four of her athletes also qualified for the NCAA Track & Field Indoor Championships: senior Isabella Whittaker for the women’s 400m and the 4x400 team, which is made up of Whittaker, senior Christiana Nwachuku, and juniors Jocelyn Niemiec and Aliya Garozzo.   

Steve Dolan, who is in his 12th year as the director of the track & field and cross country program, received the title of Mid-Atlantic Women’s Coach of the Year. This is his eighth time receiving the honor during his time at Penn. He was also the Ivy League Coach of the Year during the women’s indoor season. In addition to directing the program and coaching men’s distance running, Dolan also serves as the Frank Dolson Director of the Penn Relays.   

Dolan is considered one of the best coaches in the country due to his transformation of the Penn track and field program. During his first ten years as athletics director, he led the Quakers to eight team Ivy League Championships (two men’s cross country, three women’s indoor track and field, and three women’s outdoor track and field). He has witnessed over 50 program records broken, and his athletes include 36 All-Americans, 92 individual Heptagonal champions, 200+ All-Ivy honorees, and 48 Academic All-Ivy recipients. He is an eight-time unanimous Ivy League Coach of the Year.   

These accolades not only prove the strength of these three coaches, but that of the Penn track and field program itself. The outdoor season is already underway, with the Penn Challenge coming up on March 23, 2024 at Franklin Field.